Friday, January 04, 2013

Evel Knievel: “You can’t practice it. It’s a one-shot deal…”

Evel Knievel Evel Knievel Evel Knievel Evel Knievel
Evel Knievel, possibly the maddest motorcycle stunt rider ever, wasn't an energy drink-sponsored 'athlete.' He was a hard-drinking, wild-living, old school showman...

“The water is very important because you’ve got to get the maximum amount of pressure and the maximum amount of thrust for the jump. A steam rocket needs the best there is. I heat it at 500 degrees and let it drop off at 420. I open the valve, let the water from the heater into the rocket and when it drops from 500 to 420, the engineer, Bob Truax, points at me. I’m looking right up the ramp over the Canyon,” said Evel Knievel, talking to Overdrive magazine for their February 1973 issue. Evel was talking to them about preparing for his Snake River Canyon jump, which he went on to perform in September 1974, aboard his custom-built steam rocket-powered Skycycle X2.

“I go at 350 miles an hour in 8 seconds and hope like hell I get there. If I do, I drop down to both knees, grab a handful of dirt and thank God Almighty that I’m still alive. If I splat against the wall, I just get somewhere quicker where you’re going someday, and I’ll wait for you. Dying is part of living,” said Knievel back then, every bit the swaggering American motorcycle daredevil that he was. “You can’t practice it. It’s a one-shot deal. The Skycycle must go up 1,000 feet up at 350 miles an hour in eight seconds, or it’s all over for me,” he added.

Even in this day and age of various Red Bull-sponsored ‘athletes’ who pull off unbelievably spectacular stunts on an assortment of motorcycles, the late, great, Evel Knievel stands in a league of his own. In an era when motorcycles were still very simple and Photoshop and computer graphics hadn’t been invented, Evel jumped across cars and buses and Canyons on his bikes, often with little or no regard for his own personal well-being. Oh, sure, he earned big money and enjoyed spending it too. “I spend it all. I don’t believe in saving it. I’m risking my life for it and I’m going to blow every goddamn dime of it! You know, I love this life I lead. I play golf every day and I bet big money on it. I bet three or four thousand a day on a golf game. These guys I play with think that there’s a lot of pressure on me when I play a golf game because of the money. Hell, they don’t know what pressure is. They should see me face those 16 semis off of that takeoff ramp,” he said in that interview that he gave to Overdrive.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Lucio Cecchinello: “In the middle of the night, I feel the desire to go mad for a while…”

Lucio Cecchinello rides a Honda Fireblade in Monte Carlo
Lucio Cecchinello rides a Honda Fireblade in Monte Carlo Lucio Cecchinello rides a Honda Fireblade in Monte Carlo Lucio Cecchinello rides a Honda Fireblade in Monte Carlo Lucio Cecchinello rides a Honda Fireblade in Monte Carlo
LCR Honda team owner Lucio Cecchinello takes his Honda Fireblade out for a midnight ride around the streets of Monte Carlo, during the F1 GP week...

Former 125cc GP racer, Lucio Cecchinello set up Team LCR back in 1996 and, of course, LCR Honda are in MotoGP today, with their talented rider Stefan Bradl finishing the 2012 season in 8th place aboard his LCR Honda RC213V. And while team boss Lucio, now 43 years old, doesn’t actually race anymore, he’s still pretty handy on a motorcycle. Last year, he rode a Honda Fireblade at the Circuit de Monaco on the night before the F1 race there. And as it were, a charismatic Italian race team owner riding a Fireblade around the streets of Monte Carlo in the dead of the night, during the F1 GP week, made for an interesting story. Cecchinello wrote about the experience for the July 2012 issue of Inspire magazine. Here are some excerpts:

“It’s a very particular atmosphere that you experience in Monte Carlo during the F1 Grand Prix. A unique event, full of history, great challenges, glamour, VIPs and many celebrations. A small city that in a few weeks becomes a majestic Colosseum. A racetrack of 3.5km made up of curves, chicanes, tunnels, down-hills, hairpins and straights where an F1 car can reach 300km/h amongst the footpaths, in between the buildings and the zebra crossings! The week before the GP, tens of mega yachts land at the port, thousands of tourists crowd the hotels, the restaurants are fully booked and the traffic is heavier than usual. I still feel a strong emotion, admiring all the arrangements that must be done to create such a great scenario… leaving aside the shivers that overrun your body every time you hear the sound of an F1 engine that peals in between the buildings.”

It's amazing, what you can do with a motorcycle


We don't suppose it can get any better than this!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Yamaha R1 vs BMW M3, BMW S1000RR vs Porsche 911 GT3 RS



A good way to start 2013, right? Happy New Year indeed!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Jay Leno's Garage: 1981 Honda CBX


Jay Leno talks about the 1980s Honda CBX, one of our absolute all-time favourite motorcycles. Also see Cycle magazine's Phil Schilling's CBX review and read about what Shoichiro Irimajiri, the engineer primarily responsible for developing, has to say about this brilliant machine...

Share It